Following from El Mariachi...
El Topo (Alejandro Jodorowski, 1970)
I discussed this title recently in This Week in Geek so check it out if you're interested. I'm a fan of Jodorowski second-hand, having been exposed to his work by a friend of mine, and really, taking his word for it that the man was a genius. But I came across his work on my own in Dark Horse Presents, of all places, where he teamed up with the great comic artist Moebius on a story. And frankly, those two were made for each other. I've gotten many Jodorowski comics since then, a few with Moebius, and they're definitely the same kind of trippy. An artist's artist, I think he gravitates towards the medium best suited to his vision, and it just became comics after a while.
Elektra (Rob Bowman, 2005)
People often mention Elektra in the same breath as Catwoman, but I assure you, the unflattering comparison isn't justified. The Director's Cut, at least, doesn't deserve all the venom spit in this movie's direction. I'm not calling it the best thing put to celluloid or anything, but I rather enjoyed this. It's got a Hong Kong vibe, and Stick, and a story that I don't think is as full of holes as I've heard people say. Stylish, good action, but also meditative. Do people resent it's not being Daredevil II? Or just not a proper superhero movie? Sometimes it's all about expectations. Going in without any, I wasn't disappointed.
Elizabeth (Shekhar Kapur, 1998)
I was sad to see the sequel's Tomatoes coming out Rotten because it would have been the first film I was ready to see in a theater in a good long while. Seems like it's pretty awful. Too bad because the original is a marvelous biopic, with Cate Blanchett in a star-making role, Geoffrey Rush as the magnificent pederast assassin Walsingham, my personal guitar hero Christopher Eccleston as Norfolk, and the greatest Shakespearean actor ever, Sir John Gielgud as the evil pope. Great, atmospheric intrigue, like a mafia picture set in the 16th century.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Michel Gondry, 2004)
Can writer Charlie Kaufman do no wrong? After the genius of Being John Malkovich and Adaptation, I knew I had to had Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. It did more for my opinion of Jim Carrey than The Truman Show or Man on the Moon, and put Kate Winslet back on the map of my heart (I always fall for the crazy ones, don't I?). It's another totally original script with quirky performances, visual bravura, and depths of meaning.
Fallen Angels (Kar Wai Wong, 1995)
Reviewed it the same week as El Topo (can you tell I was boning up for this installment of DVD Tales?), so more details there. Still need to find that soundtrack. I'll go do that now. See you later.
But what did YOU think? Next: Fando y Lis to Fifth Element.